Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining Motivation

(Note: This is one entry in the "Positively Premier" blog I reguarly wrote. That blog was the top-viewed page of the club's entire website.) 

It happens to the best of us. We look at ourselves critically in the mirror, inspecting every unsightly flaw with the harshest of internal critics.

“After New Year’s, I’m going to get in shape,” we say to ourselves. “This year is going to be different.”

And at first, we do great. We show up at the gym, we take the spin class, we’re selective with what we put in our bodies.

But as life marches on, along with all the demands that come with it, our resolve begins to weaken. Excuses and temptations begin to pour out of the cracks of our once-solid determination.

“Our discipline begins to slip away when we let one small piece of cake become two or three small pieces of cake, and we decide, just because maybe we dropped the ball on one small goal (eating for pleasure over purpose), that the big goal (dropping 5, 10, or 20 pounds) is just too far out of reach, and we quit altogether,” said Gary Fortney, Premier’s personal training manager.

Discipline is different than motivation. We still want to lose the weight and circumstances remain unchanged.

“With that said, my personal advice is to never be unrealistically strict on yourself and to account for slip-ups along the way because life happens,” Fortney continued. "Working on grasping the idea that true wellness change is typically a lengthy process is the best thing you can do for yourself.”

And you can get by with a little help from our friends.

“Premier has personal trainers ready and able to help you along this long, winding path, holding you accountable every step of the way,” he said.

Trainers bring accountability into the equation. And we can now welcome back focus and discipline to the mix.

“Just from personal observation, I would say club attendance drops anywhere from 15-25% after the initial New Year’s surge,” Fortney said. “The parking lots stop overflowing and machines actually become vacant starting around the end of February through the beginning of March. It’s always unfortunate to see because one or two months of hard work can mean nothing once you stop.”

Those who stick with it tend to discover their second and third winds going into summer months, and they seem to be more energetic and active, he added.

His advice? Set goals only a month out. Don’t think about what’s going to happen in a year.

“If I can hit weekly and monthly goals, then yearlong goals will be met regardless,” Fortney shared. “And to that point, I almost never firmly set a yearlong goal because life happens. I keep an idea in mind of what I’d like to see happen, but I keep my longer goals fluid in nature. Concrete goals that go unmet are confidence killers.”

Come into the club and chat up a trainer. There’s a strong chance they may prevent the loss of your discipline, which means you’ll keep going.

And then, as time goes on, you’ll look in the mirror again. But that harsh internal critic will be quieted.

And you may even feel a swell of self-satisfaction. The flaws aren’t as bad; muscles look more toned.

You’ll smile and say, “This year really is different.”

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